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VIII Bomber Command 85

19 August 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German airfields at Gilze-Rijen, Holland and Woensdrecht, Holland are the targets for this mission. The attacks will be made by two elements. The first element is a combined force of 125 B-17s from: 91BG (8); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (19); 306BG (20); 351BG (9);379BG (16); 381BG (7); and 384BG (7). The formation actually attacks two German airfields in Holland. 38 are effective on Gilze-Rijen and 55 are effective on Flushing. 4 B-17s Failed to Return (FTR) - 22KIA 19POW. The bomber gunners claim 29-1-2 of the attacking German fighters.

The second element is a combined force of 45 B-17s from 94BG (3); 95BG (7); 96BG (8); 100BG (7); 385BG (7) 388BG (7) and 390BG (7). Many of the B-17s that normally would have participated in this element were lost on the 17-Aug-43 mission to Regensburg or are still at bases in North Africa. Weather prevented any of this group from bombing. 1 B-17 Failed to Return (FTR) 8KIA 2POW and another caught fire during assembly and was abandoned over Wolferton, England. 3 INJ 8RTD. The bomber gunners claim 1-1-2 of enemy aircraft.

Mission details

1. GILZE-RIJEN / FLUSHING (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

38 aircraft bomb Gilze-Rijen airfield and 55 bomb flushing airfield. Despatch from most groups limited because of losses suffered on the Schweinfurt raid.

Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 165.80
Number of aircraft Sent 125
Number of aircraft Effective 93
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 42
Number of people Killed In Action 22
Number of people Wounded in Action 9
Number of people Prisoners of War 19
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 29
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

2. WOENSDRECHT (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

This element aborted the mission due to weather. One loss from 96th Bomb Group when aircraft caught fire during assembly, crash-landing at Wolften Sands, England, 3 injuries but all eventually returned. Despatch limited because many of the groups' aircraft are still in North Africa or Missing in Action (MIA) on Schweinfurt raid.

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped None
Number of aircraft Sent 45
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 8
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 11
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

Service

People

  • Loran Biddle

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 358BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down 20-Oct-43 in B-17 41-24629. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 1032 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Neil Brennan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Air Gunner, Togglier/Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 26 November 1943 in B-17 #4230832. Prisoner of War (POW). He was a Prisoner of War (POW) from 26 Nov. 1943 to 04 May 1945. He was at Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria. Prisoner of War (POW) no. 100388. POW

  • Walter Buran

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Koenig crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 19 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3101 'Man-O-War'. Mission #21 to the airfield at Gilze Rijen, Holland. Mix of 533rd and 535th BS crews. MACR 662. Killed in Action (KIA). Buried in the Netherlands AMC. ...

  • Russell Chester

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio operator, Koenig crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 19 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3101 'Man-O-War'. Mission #21 to the airfield at Gilze Rijen, Holland. Mix of 533rd and 535th BS crews. MACR 662. Prisoner of War at stalag XVIIB. Ohio

  • Arthur Everett

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Koenig crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 19 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3101 'Man-O-War'. Mission #21 to the airfield of Gilze Rijen, Holland. Mix of 533rd and 535th BS crews. MACR 662. Killed in Action (KIA). Buried at the Netherlands AMC. New York

  • John Hendry

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 358BS, 303BS, 8AF USAAF. Shot down 20-Oct-43 in B-17 41-24629. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 1032 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Vern Iverson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | pilot | 96th Bomb Group
    Story of "Mischief Maker" participation on 27 Aug 1943 Regensburg mission in Snetterton Falcons, pg 44.

  • Wilbert Jones

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Koenig crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 19 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3101 'Man-O-War'. Mission #21 to the airfield at Gilze Rijen, Holland. Mix of 533rd and 535th BS crews. MACR 662. Killed in Action (KIA) Buried in the Netherlands AMC. Illinois

  • Jack Kern

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

  • Ernest Klein

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Klein E, crew. 381st BG, 533rd Bs, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oscherleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-31417 'Big Time Operator II'. MACR 1879. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. ...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24416 'Black Diamond Express'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BS/92BG Bangor 16/7/42; 95BG Horham /43; 359BS/303BG [BN-V] Molesworth, 17/6/43; Returned to the USA Sheppard 5/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 26/10/45. BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS.

  • 41-24487 'Eager Beaver'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 368BS/306BG [BO-Q] Westover 25/8/42; Thurleigh 13/10/42; AFSC 1/5/44; was longest serving B-17F in 8th BC; Returned to the USA Tinker 28/7/44; to Williamsport Technical Institute, Patterson Fd, Penn.; 20/6/45 for aeronautical programme, the...

  • 41-24605 Knock-out Dropper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-R] Bangor 22-Sep-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; First 8th Air Force aircraft to complete 50, then 75 missions- 27-Mar-44; with M/Sgt Buford Pafford as crew chief; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5-Jun-44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-29633 SpitzFire

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/1/43; Salina 12/2/43; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-H/J/N/D] Chelveston 4/3/43. Completed missions as "Spitz Fire" under command of Lt. Frank R. Spitznagel Jr. until 8/19/43; transferred 381BG Ridgewell 11/9/43 1m; 526BS/379BG [LF-U]...

  • 42-29807 'Lady Liberty'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/2/43; Gore 7/3/43; New Castle 6/4/43; Dow Fd 12/4/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Alconbury 15/4/43 PATSY ANN; Framlingham 12/5/43; Horham 15/6/43; 5m, transferred 364BS/305BG [WF-O] Chelveston 17/6/43; Missing in Action Gilze...

  • 42-30068 Phartzac

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 5/4/43; Gore 10/4/43; Kearney 15/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 13/5/43; Kearney 23/5/43; Dow Fd 27/5/43; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-P] Podington 29/5/43; Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; transferred 561BS/388BG Knettishall 6/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-30172 Black Heart Jr.

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/4/43; Smoky Hill 28/4/43; Walla Walla 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 21/5/43; Dow Fd 6/6/43; Assigned 339BS/96BG [QJ-F] Snettisham 12/6/43; crash landed Wolferton, Nfk; 19/8/43 with Jim Attaway, Co-pilot: Matt Vinson (Wounded in Action),...

  • 42-30213 Lil' One

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Gore 9/5/43; Sioux City 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 1/6/43; crashed on take off for Bremen after encountering mechanical problems 13/11/43 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Alvin...

  • 42-30412 Mischief-Maker II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Plane Mischief Maker II entered combat approximately Jun43 under command of Capt V.L. Iverson after the original Mischief Maker was damaged beyond repair. After this crew completed 25 missions Maj. Iverson was retained for HQ USSTAF, the crew...

  • 42-3101 Man O' War

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/2/43; Presque Is 28/4/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG Alconbury 1/5/43; transferred 533BS/381BG [VP- ] Ridgewell 21/7/43; Missing in Action 3+m Gilze Rijen 19/8/43 with Orlando Koenig535, Co-pilot: Joe Mangarpan, Navigator: Leon Spivey535...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2017 12:42:25 ThomBear Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

added a/c 41-24487 per post mission report.

Date Contributor Update
24 May 2015 19:50:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Wensdrecht element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
24 May 2015 19:49:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Gilze-Rijen element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
24 May 2015 19:47:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added bomber claims to Woensdrecht element narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
24 May 2015 19:41:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:18 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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